Back in the flame 2015 days @space_monkey and I, who were otherwise good friends, had a disagreement.
You see, he would create a library called “setups” and then create folders for each shot, so he could have multiple versions and keep it all tidy. This involved either managing where the save destination was per-shot, or manually placing batch setups into the folders. Psychopath that I am (autokey for life) I created a library called “setups” and simply saved EVERY setup into that folder, with the belief that a unified naming system would be enough to sort the batch setups well enough.
We did not come to an agreement, and I’m sure I advocated against his more labor intensive approach behind his back. My defining philosophy is to make everything as simple as possible.
When Flame 2016 turned up we could hear the angels singing. Versions were now tucked inside a structure called a “batch group” giving @space_monkey his folder structure while retaining my lazy “save it all to one place.”
And that’s still the way I work: one library, set as the save destination, where all the batch groups go (for what it’s worth I tried to make Meta-S the ‘save batch group’ hotkey but lost the battle, so we’re stuck with the wholly illogical but at least nearby Meta-W).
Edits are kept in reels and I manually copy/paste them into a second library, either as reel groups or individual reels.
It is a simple way of working and i like it, but I’m always curious to know how other people exist within the software.
In general, I create a Desktop that contains a reel group with a reel or reels for working masters, connected segment footage, connected segment renders and a slop reel. I add more as needed. It also contains a reel group for all my outputs. I add reels to this group as need be depending on deliverables. In the Library I create a desktop library for saving my desktops or desktops (I usually just have one desktop for each job so that connected segments can remain connected) and a Library for all the elements I bring in from outside such as audio tracks, references and graphics. Within each of those sub folders I create a dated folder. I don’t like timed folders. I only use dated ones because they help me keep track of things, but I hate folder creep, so I never make timed subfolders within those. This library matches the library structure on the SAN that people drop things into for me and grab the stuff I send them. If I build up a massive list of batch groups, I make a library for them and dump the ones in that I don’t expect to be using again once the work has been approved. Since I work alone, I don’t feel the need to stick to this rigid structure. I also revisit the whole shebang with every new update and incorporate changes if I think it will make any part of the work flow more efficient.
That’s pretty much my flow too, Tim.
“Slop reel”! Now thats a phrase i’m gonna have to start using.
I’d be curious to hear others thoughts on how/why they use multiple desktops…I usually just have one per project as well.
Is it just when you get too many reels or batch groups?
I’m very timeline-centric so maybe that’s why it doesn’t click for me.
I’ll use multiples if it makes sense to break a project into pieces and there is no shared footage between the pieces. And I will use them if the scope of the project becomes too large to accommodate efficiently on a single desktop.
I’ll do a few minutes. It will be very tv spot centric.
I only have 1 Desktop with all batchgroups only, which is saved in a shot libary. The WIP Sequences are in a reelgroup in their own Library (even when being worked on) and sorted into sequencereels; normal reels only for technical steps.
To ensure all Connections are killed, the Masters also go into a masterlibrary, stored in numbered reels/folders.
Since we adopted this working structure, errors (like missing/changed masters, overwritten sequences, lost desktops, chaos by hundreds of daily saved desktops and so on) went to nearly zero in the workflow.
@andymilkis Dunno if i need to work that day, maybe I could show our structure spontaneously, if you still have a free slot that day. Would also be for commercials.
Hey Bernd…that’d be great. Would love to be able to show how different people in the commercial space organize their stuff. For example…I’ve been a daily desktop guy for 20+ years, but I’m slowly warming to the idea of just working out of the library. I’m on a job now that’s been going on for weeks and I already have two libraries called “OLD DESKTOP” that I throw old desktops in and close just to maintain Flame’s interactivity. I’ve had to go into those Libraries a total of zero times so far…
Hi Andy, I think I’ve got a pretty similar way of working. One library for Desktops. A separate Library for Sequences. Another Library for Elements/Assets. And one for Outputs. I keep the structure external to Flame with a bookmark and every job I start, I just load the libraries.
Since 2013, “saving the Desktop” is kinda what the save button does… it puts the Desktop in a library or subfolder destination. I’m also a big believer in using Batch for most work - saving BFX for emergencies as BFX wasn’t the trustiest place to work for a few years after its introduction. So I keep just one BatchGroup in one Desktop of the same name. I kinda would prefer to just save the BatchGroup into a Library, but the “Save the Desktop” thing gets convoluted, so I just do it that way. That way every shot is 100% portable. Everything I need for that shot will be on that Desktop.
I also publish everything. Every job. Regardless of size of project or team. The publish process creates a BatchGroup for every shot - see above about Desktops. Along with instant access to every version of every shot, Publishing guarantees that not only are the setups saved externally, but the EXACT setup used to create that SPECIFIC version is linked through the OpenClip and retrievable down the road at any point. No endless headscratching about if setup 10 or 10a or 10a1 or 10ab was the right one that made version 10 of that shot. And as an added bonus, if I just need just one of the nodes from a shot, it’s manually loadable in a clearly marked location in the Job folder. So kind of like you, the setups are all there in one place, in a Library of Desktops. But it’s all saved externally. When I work in Batch, I sometimes iterate to save versions in the batch group, but I don’t really worry about it as the setup used to create versions out of Batch are saved externally and linked on render through the WriteNode. It’s kind of a habit and I’m not really sure why I still do it.
I keep the timelines in the Library and they are NOT protected from editing - so I’m using open timelines out of the library. I kinda like the Library better because it’s less volatile than a desktop and I find that things in Libraries tend to be there after crashes. Whenever I output a timeline, I save that version in an “Old” folder, version up and keep working.
I also make one more Library - OUT. So everything I’m sending out that day goes a dated folder or multiple dated folders. If it’s timelines, I’ll call it YYYY-MM-DD_QTs. If it’s sequences to a D.I. - YYYY-MM-DD_DPX (or EXR). If it’s for roto - YYYY-MM-DD_PRLT. I have publish scripts for each of these that create shot deliverables and QT presets for the full timeline deliverables.
I haven’t really tweaked this in a few years, and many of my clients work in a way that breaks the Sources Sequence so I can’t take advantage of the connected conform consistently, hence the Desktop/Batchgroup is just used one per shot. I’m intrigued with Randy’s workflow, it looks like Jazz. And I would love to see Bernd’s process in action. I think that’d be a great show to see how everyone has created workflows that solve their worst nightmares.
Thanks for sharing that, Josh! This is exactly why I’d like to do an organization show. Everyone tends to stick with the organization structure that they learned when they started, and the best way I’ve found to change that behavior is to see how other people do it.
But why would I want to change my workflow when my way is the best?
Pretty much everything I do is in Batch, as we only work on film and episodic shows.
Depending on the project, I either create a desktop with associated batch for each shot, or sequence, (in which case a compass for each shot).
I will use the desktop as a temp area for QT cuts and references, then iterate up when I get feedback on
Then, when I archive I will only archive the most recent batch group, not the desktop.
I also colour code in the media panel, blue for in progress, green for final and black for archived and deleted from Flame.
Works for me!